With traditional universal remote controls on the wane, Logitech is reviving its renowned Harmony brand with a DIY home control system called Harmony Living Home.
Companies like URC, Savant, Crestron and more have been doing this stuff very ably for a while, only their systems are more complex and feature-rich, and must be custom-programmed by professional installers. The Harmony system, while it appears to be not nearly as capable as those systems, is aimed directly at the consumer. Like all home automation and control systems, the idea is to enable you to control your entertainment and household subsystems like climate, security and lighting from one simple, powerful interface.
The Logitech system purportedly does just that, as well as provide what are traditionally called “scenes” and which Logitech calls “Activities” — essentially, combining multiple devices and functions based on your own behavior and preferences. For example, when you come home, the lights can turn on, music can start playing, the temperature can be set at a specific temperature, etc.
The heart of the system is the Logitech Harmony Home Hub, which uses RF, IR, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to relay commands from the Harmony Living Home remote control ($149.99), the Harmony Ultimate Home remote control ($349.99), or the Harmony Mobile App to home entertainment and home automation devices in the home. The $99.99 Home Hub is included for free with the remotes. Another device called the Harmony Hub Extender ($129.99) enables the Hub to send commands to ZigBee and Z-Wave devices.
The list of companies whose products the system supports is impressive: August, Honeywell, Kwikset, Lutron, Nest, PEQ, Philips hue, Schlage, SmartThings, Sylvania, Yale, Zuli and more. All told, Logitech claims, the system can control more than 270,000 compatible devices.
The Harmony Living Home system is slated for availability in the U.S. and Canada this month, with the exception of the Harmony Hub Extender, which is due in December.
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